FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - Gov. Matt Bevin’s latest economic development initiative is taking him to Great Britain this week.
The Governor and Economic Development officials are being joined by local and regional Kentucky development professionals at the Farnborough International Air Show about 35 miles southwest of London to attract new companies and create jobs in the state’s expanding aerospace industry.
According to figures supplied by the Bevin administration, Kentucky’s aerospace industry employs over 18,500 people at nearly 80 facilities. They include providers of rolled aluminum sheet, aircraft weapons systems, machining, manufacturing and assembly operations, engineering and design expertise, airfreight delivery services, carbon brake production, aircraft and engine repair and maintenance, robotics supply and more.
Aerospace parts and products consistently rank first among Kentucky’s export categories. Aerospace exports this year through April, the most recent available, have reached $4.84 billion, an increase of more than 5 percent over the same months last year.
In 2017, Kentucky exported a record $11.7 billion in aerospace parts and products, more than a third of all $30.9 billion in goods and services sent abroad. As well, exports of aerospace components grew by nearly 8 percent from 2016 and 34 percent since 2015.
“Kentucky is a top-flight location in the U.S. for aviation and aerospace engineering, manufacturing and R&D,” Bevin said. “We offer formidable advanced-manufacturing resources and experience in addition to nationally recognized workforce programs, a wealth of available sites in attractive communities, and logistics hubs delivering products across the globe overnight. At Farnborough, we’ll meet with corporate leaders from a wide array of companies and showcase how the commonwealth offers them the perfect environment for long-term success.”
The Farnborough International Airshow alternates years with the Paris Air Show and is the world’s second-largest event of its kind. The show provides opportunities to create new relationships, strengthen existing ties and discuss investment with some of the world’s foremost aerospace companies. Organizers say they expect a record crowd this year, as well as more than 1,500 exhibitors from 52 countries.
The event runs July 16-22.